Mark currently owns and operates his own school for blacksmiths. His training as a smith started in the United Kingdom in 1976 after leaving high-school, working for a small fabrication/engineering firm that boasted a blacksmith shop. He has worked for a number of smiths as well as teaching in trade schools over the years.
Mark is a certified journeyman smith with the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths, (a UK guild started in London in 1324) and currently an Associate of the company (AWCB) Mark is also a certified farrier with the American Farriers Association (AFA). He does maintain that these qualifications and a dollar will only get you a cup of pretty poor tasting coffee, but that the endeavors were priceless.
Mark owns and operates the 'Mark Aspery School of Blacksmithing' traveling the USA teaching classes for ABANA affiliates and giving blacksmith demonstrations.
Mark is currently writing the third volume to his 'How to' blacksmith book series, The Skills of a Blacksmith Vol III – Joinery and related tooling.
Mark is careful not to call himself a traditional smith, perhaps classical is a more apt phrase.
Mark likes to use classical joinery techniques where budget and design allow.
An underlying ethos of Mark's work is 'make the tools before you can begin the job'.
At this time Mark does not do any regular commission blacksmithing, just the occasional small job, and states "I am a little out-of-touch with that side of the profession. I think that the single most important event that has improved my blacksmithing has been to teach it – having to know the root of the skill or information."
Mark maintains that he is as much a student of blacksmithing as the next smith, and is ready to learn more – with a subject this vast, how can he say anything else.
You can contact Mark via email at:
Mark Aspery,Hammer's Blow Editor